Polaris Child Welfare System: Predicting Likelihood of Permanency and Improving Care

Polaris Health Directions child welfare software solution supports caseworkers as they determine the best course of action for the children they serve. The system's predictive capabilities has accurately classified 80 percent of youth who will achieve permanency.

Langhorne, PA, May 27, 2010 --(PR.com)-- Polaris Health Directions, a national leader in youth and adult outcomes assessment, introduces its software solution to support permanency planning in child welfare agencies. The Polaris Child Welfare (PCW) system provides an analysis of the data caseworkers need to determine the best course of action for each youth they serve.

The power of the PCW system stems from its predictive algorithm that when tested, accurately classified 80 percent of the youth who achieved permanency, and nearly 80 percent of those who were likely to fail. It was derived from assessment and placement data provided by child welfare agencies in Pennsylvania, Iowa, North Carolina and Missouri.

“Each year thousands of kids are removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect, and many will be returned to their families too soon,” said Dr. Linda Toche-Manley, vice president of Polaris Health Directions. “And because the mental health issues of the families have not been addressed, these children often end up right back in the system.”

The PCW system administers assessments to children and their counselors, and then combines and analyzes their responses. The data is used to determine whether the current course of treatment is likely to result in a positive outcome--whether the child returns home to the biological parent(s), is permanently placed with a relative, adopted, emancipated or enrolled in college.

The system’s design allows for the in-depth evaluation of the parents’ mental health and the stability of the environment, including the presence of domestic violence. It can be easily customized to work in conjunction with existing systems and databases.

“With the use of the PCW solution, we expect to see fewer children re-entering the system and experiencing multiple placements, which in turn should reduce the number of aged-out youth who wind up on welfare or in jail,” Dr. Toche-Manley said. This breakthrough solution could help many youth recover from abuse and neglect, and build better lives for themselves and their families.”

More information about the Polaris Child Welfare solution and how it can be beneficial to those systems serving youth can be found at http://www.polarishealth.com/solutions/child_welfare/cw.html or send an e-mail to moreinfo@polarishealth.com.

About Polaris Health Directions

At Polaris, we recognize that organizations cannot manage what they do not measure. Many behavioral health care providers and payers may not be collecting and analyzing enough of the right data to answer basic questions about the cost-effectiveness of the care they offer. Polaris's advanced technology and science driven assessment systems are designed to capture the clinical data essential to quality improvement and enhanced organizational management. Polaris solutions provide advanced analytics to help you improve and demonstrate to your customers the value of your care. With a focus on prediction, Polaris solutions do more than describe clinical change. Our systems also indicate if treatment is likely to have a positive result. Helping you make better decisions in the present by anticipating the future will be the difference in reducing your costs while improving patient care.

The project described was supported by Award Number 5 R44 HD049955 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.

Polaris Health Directions
Dr. Linda Toche-Manley